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Family Gathering

Back to the Future

On Friday I went back to fifth grade. As part of a day of service, I spent four hours in a public elementary school. I expected to see changes since my grade school, but I did not expect to see a principal wearing a long-sleeved baseball jersey or the librarian wearing a baseball cap. What happened to role models?


I was impressed by the cart of laptops that was wheeled into the room. The students told me they've been using computers since first grade. Each student has an account and signs in with ease. Their assignment on Friday was to produce a report on the ruffled grouse, a game bird commonly found in Wisconsin. The students I was "helping" were on Google in an instant and with two clicks they got a Wikipedia article on their screens. They quickly cut and paste the text and pictures into a Word document. Then they made beautiful title pages, using all the art the MAC offers. In one more moment, they had printed and stapled their reports.


The frightening thing is that they never wrote or read a word of their reports. When I asked, they told me they didn't have to read it.


Are they our country's future?


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